On Sunday, the New England Patriots & Atlanta Falcons will kick-off in Houston, Texas. The teams will be sweating nervously in anticipation of the much-loved event watched by more than 100 million Americans.

So too will the advertisers.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, the big game’s commercial breaks now get nearly as much pre-game hype as the event itself. Those responsible for shelling out north of $5 million for 30 seconds of air time will be watching eagerly as their babies see the light of television – and the largest audience they’ll ever see in one sitting – for the first time. They hope the commercials will both fatten up sales volumes – and serve as statements for their brands, cementing the loyalty and love of consumers old and new.

The Super Bowl marks a key date in many advertisers’ calendars because of the reach the event offers. The game has also become a key forum for brands to make statements reflective of a time in life – and connect their brands to public and political sentiment burgeoning in the U.S.

Notoriously, the 1984 Super Bowl was the launching pad for Apple’s “1984” commercial, which ushered the Macintosh personal computer into homes, hearts and minds around the world for the first time. And planted a flag for Apple’s brand – showcasing what Apple-die-hards stood for and, even more so, what and who they united staunchly against.

Two decades earlier, the first ever Super Bowl set the pace for the event’s commercial-centric heartbeat. “Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi threw a fit when the second-half kickoff had to be done over. The reason? NBC held off returning to the game until after it aired a commercial for Winston cigarettes. It was an embarrassing moment but also a harbinger of things to come, as the game would become the single most important event in advertising,” reported Ad Week.

The event has historically seen the great, good and the desperately unhealthy author commercials filled with product might and heroism. But in a time where concern for health is growing – and sugar has a growing reputation as the “new tobacco” – what will this year’s Super Bowl play launching pad to?

Pepsi is one brand to note as they’ll be using the occasion to launch their new bottled water, “LifeWTR.” And Pepsi Zero Sugar will be sponsoring the Half Time Show.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on avocados as Avocados from Mexico will be flogging their much loved produce to guacamole addicted viewers while Trump’s border tax looms on the sidelines.

Keen to know more? Have a look at the ballooning history of Super Bowl advertising budgets compiled by the American Marketing Association.

And catch up on the most expensive ads ever made.

What do you think? With all eyes on the Superbowl, what do you think should be getting advertised? Tweet us @foodrev or comment below and let us know.


About Ali Morrow

Ali Morrow heads up editorial and strategy for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.